May 19, 2011 at 08:39 PM EDT

A spokeswoman for Days of Our Lives has confirmed that Dena Higley has vacated her post as head writer for the NBC sudser and will be replaced by Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas. The news was first reported by Soap Opera Network.

Ken Corday, executive producer of Days of our Lives, announced that Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas have been named the head writing team on NBC’s longest running scripted program, effective immediately. “McPherson and Thomas will bring Days of our Lives back to its core values by telling exciting stories with a fresh and contemporary approach including beloved characters,” said Corday.

Higley first joined Days in 1985 and served in various roles before leaving in 2004 to become the head writer for One Life to Live, Soap Opera Network says. After the writer’s strike, Higley returned to Days in April 2008.

Is something in the air? Just yesterday, ABC announced that it brought on a new head writer for General Hospital.

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